Home Institution

Villanova University

Language Proficiency Level

SPAN 3500

Publication Date

Fall 2012


In Fall of 2012, during my participation in the Spain: Language, Community and Social Change program, I volunteered at El Centro de Inserción Social “Matilde Canto Fernandez”, a center for inmates in the advanced stages of their reintegration. It is located in the center of urban Granada in order to make the reintegration into the social life of Granada easier. The center plays a residential role and offers intervention and treatment of activities, and social work.

The initial idea for my service was to conduct a “Cine-fórum” in which I would show a movie and lead a discussion where we would reflect upon the lessons, conflicts and determine together a take-away message. In addition to my movie forum I attended cultural classes every Wednesday with the inmates where they would participate in a presentation from administrators from the Red Cross, college professors or even other inmates. I observed the importance of cultural education in their rehabilitation and decided to study the benefits and effectiveness of this type of education.

In the United States I had volunteered for a semester at a maximum security prison which was in the process of phasing out the education program because there were insufficient funds to maintain the program. I was interested in studying cultural education and the effect that education had on the recidivism rate, because I saw the consequences that our lack of rehabilitation has on recidivism rates in the United States. I developed my conclusions, that a cultural education has more benefits than perhaps any other type of education, through observation, interviews and my “cine-fórum”. A cultural education provides a person with education, self-respect, an understanding of “other” and is a “gate-way” form of education that often inspires the person to want to learn more.


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance